the worst little sweatshop in queens

At news conference last week in New York, state labor officials said they inspected one of the worst sweatshops they've visited in years: Apparel Factory Workers Were Cheated, State Says.

The factory, in Queens—which made women's apparel for Banana Republic, the Gap, Macy's, Urban Apparel and Victoria's Secret—apparently handed out instructions to its workers telling them to give false answers about working conditions when government inspectors visited.

The factory, Jin Shun, sometimes required its 100 employees to work seven days a week, sometimes for months in a row, and cheated its workers out of $5.3 million. The case made by the State Labor Department against Jin Shun is one of the biggest involving back pay that it has ever brought.

According to state officials, most employees, virtually all of them Chinese immigrants, were paid just $250 when they worked their typical 66-hour, six-day weeks, amounting to $3.79 an hour, far below the state's $7.15-an-hour minimum wage. They received more when they were required to work seven-day weeks.

Yes, my friends, that cute little Banana Republic sweater set you bought was made from the sweat of a 66-hour, $3.79/hour workweek.

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